John McCarthy took apart the fight between Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blades

John McCarthy took apart the fight between Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blades

Legendary referee John McCarthy, who is a commentator and host of an analytical podcast, gave an assessment of the upcoming heavyweight fight between Russian Sergey Pavlovich and American Curtis Blades, who will head the UFC Fight Night 222 tournament in Las Vegas on April 22.

“Obviously, Sergey Pavlovich has knockout power,” said “Big” John in the next episode of his podcast. “Now he has confidence and he sends people to sleep. At the same time, he technically competently puts pressure on his opponents, very prudently goes forward, and with all this power he has a very fast manual speed. But he goes up against a guy who can put him in an uncomfortable position.”

“We’ve seen Curtis handle the drummers really well, and we’ve seen the drummers uppercut Curtis when he’s trying to land a takedown and it doesn’t end well for him. The question is, will Sergei be able to land a punch and rock Curtis Blades, or will he fall victim and become the guy who couldn’t stop Curtis Blades’ takedown.”

McCarthy’s co-host, Josh Thomson, who once trained with Pavlovich at the American Kickboxing Academy, also expressed his opinion about the fight.

“I have my own history with Sergei, and I can say that at that time Cain Velasquez simply destroyed him,” Thomson said. “He translated it, dominated every position and parsed it with ease. I think Sergei is a phenomenal fighter and he has definitely gotten better since then, but DC did the same with him.”

“I see him defending better against takedowns now, but if Curtis doesn’t get hit hard and can land one or two takedowns, things will become much easier for him. However, Sergei has excellent distance control with his long arms and yes, he has confidence now. 17-1 vs 17-3. This should be a good fight. The winner will get a title shot, unless it’s Curtis Blades. haha”

“Big” John agreed that the upcoming fight is a candidate only for the Russian.

“By the way, that’s a great question,” McCarthy replied. “I look at it and think that if Curtis Blades wins, I don’t see him with a title shot. But if Sergey wins, he will definitely fight for the title.”